Tag: 2007

Hank Jones (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010) — His 93rd Birthday Anniversary

hankJonesHank Jones would have been 97 years old the other day, and if he were still with us, I’m sure he’d be the same funny, polite, gentleman he always was…and he’d still be one of the very baddest musicians on the planet.

Here is a fantastic pair of interviews with the great pianist, both from Ted Panken’s great blog. He posted these a couple years ago also in honor of Jones’ birthday, one from a 2007 Jazziz piece, and the other a transcription from a 1994 WKCR interview. Both interviews are just great, and cover so much. Hank covers a number of personal topics in the 2007 interview in particular. From the piece:

And I wonder if I was true, let’s say, to my race. There were times when I wanted to join the civil rights movement and march, but I would have lost my job. I had a wife and stepdaughter, and I had to support them. With my temperament, something could have happened to me, because things were going on that I might not have been able to accept. Although my instincts were to do the proper thing, I repressed them.

Click here to read Hank Jones (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010) — His 93rd Birthday Anniversary

—Peter Blasevick

Vinnie Colaiuta: Beyond Black and White

vinnieColaiutaVinnie Colaiuta is one of the busiest and most admired drummers on the planet. Whether with Sting or Allan Holdsworth, Megadeath or Herbie Hancock, he is always a pea sure to listen to. Here he is in a nice 2007 interview with Modern Drummer posted on his own site. From the interview:

MD: Drummers always say, “You have to play for the song.”

VC: First of all, you have to want to play for the song. You have to enjoy doing that. Then you’ll start seeing the musical value and fulfillment in that. You’ll sense it, feel it, and know it. You’ll sense the synergy in it. You won’t even think, “Man, I could have done this really cool lick there.” That is defeatist, non-musical thinking.

Any time you strike the drums you have to be aware that you’re creating a musical event. If you think of it as something more or less technical, you’re thinking reductionistically. If you think, “I have to play the song well,” it can become a chore to develop so people will like you, versus, “I see the value of this and it makes sense.” That’s not to say that you can play anything and use your own criteria to deem it a musical event. There are laws of music. I could sit down and play a drum solo and think, “I will baffle them.”

Click here to read Vinnie Colaiuta: Beyond Black and White

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

eddieGomezI was listening through some repeats of NPR’s Piano Jazz with the late Marian McPartland recently, and they are just great. There aren’t many forums that allow long-form interview/performances like these, and we’re fortunate that they keep an archive of selected episodes up at the NPR site.

In this episode, bassist Eddie Gomez visits Piano Jazz for a session with his old boss, Marian McPartland. The pair first teamed up in the early 1960s, when McPartland found herself in need of a bassist for a regular trio gig at Strollers in New York. Gomez gained exposure that led to the chance of a lifetime: a spot as bassist in the Bill Evans Trio. On this installment of Piano Jazz from 2007, Gomez and McPartland get together for a set of tunes by Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk and more.

“Eddie is such a wonderful bassist,” McPartland says. “I remember hiring him for that gig, and we had a fabulous time catching up on the show. It was a lot of fun playing together again. And he went on to big things with Bill Evans… and now teaching the kids.”

Here is the set list played during the interview:

  • “On Green Dolphin Street” (B. Kaper, N. Washington)
  • “Windows” (C. Corea)
  • “Willow Weep for Me” (A. Ronell)
  • “Easy to Love” (C. Porter)
  • “Turn Out the Stars” (B. Evans)
  • “Free Piece” (M. McPartland, E. Gomez)
  • “Stella by Starlight” (N. Washington, V. Young)
  • “Sometime Ago” (S. Mihanovich)
  • “Straight No Chaser” (T.S. Monk)

Click here to listen to Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

Herbie Hancock: Inspired By the Written Word of a Friend

herbieHancockHere is a cool 2007 interview with the great Herbie Hancock from AllAboutJazz. Hancock covers a number of topics, including his at-the-time new album River: The Joni Letters, a tribute to the music of an old friend and colleague, Joni Mitchell which he recorded with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Lionel Loueke and singers Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Luciana Souza, Corinne Bailey Rae, Leonard Cohen, and Mitchell herself. From the interview:

AAJ: The musicians, I know your association with them, Wayne and Dave and everybody else. You chose those guys when other people might have thought that you would have chosen people from the pop world or folk world, something that people assume in Joni’s world.

HH: The reason I didn’t do that is because I don’t have to do that. [laughs] [Pop musicians] might be obvious choices, but then she’s already done that. Why would I do the same things she’s already done? What made sense to me that could be interesting—my foundation is in jazz and I’m recording it for Verve as my next jazz record. Why not have a context that’s more associated with jazz. How would that work? That would be more of an interesting challenge. It would pretty much ensure that we wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel. You try and re-invent the wheel of songs that somebody not only wrote but they played on, and were an important part of the process of the sound of the record, the arrangements. I knew Joni was the source of those arrangements, from knowing her and how she involves herself in the music. She was certainly there to make so many of those decisions about how she wanted to be rendered. For her records.

Click here to read Herbie Hancock: Inspired By the Written Word of a Friend

—Peter Blasevick

Bill Frisell On Piano Jazz

I’m posting five great NPR Piano Jazz interviews this week. Though Marian McPartland no longer actively hosts the show (which has been running since the late 1970s), it still airs weekly with encore performances and in an updated version hosted by Jon Weber.

Int today’s interview, guitarist and composer Bill Frisell brings his sparkling, atmospheric sound to this episode of Piano Jazz in a session that originally aired in October 2007.

At one point in the hour long show,  Frisell’s give his solo take on “My Man’s Gone Now,” from George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. Frisell picked up this tune when he first began studying jazz seriously by listening to Bill Evans and Miles Davis.

“It’s one of those tunes that stayed with me from the late ’60s when I first heard it, and I’ve been trying to play it all along,” Frisell says.

During the interview, Bill’s performances include:

  • “When You Wish Upon a Star” (Harline, Washington)
  • “My Man’s Gone Now” (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)
  • “All the Things You Are” (Hammerstein, Kern)
  • “He’s the One” (McPartland)
  • “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (Williams)
  • “Strange Meeting” (Frisell)
  • “Echoes of Yesterday” (McPartland)
  • “Blue Monk” (Monk)

Click here to listen to Bill Frisell On Piano Jazz

An Interview with Dave Brubeck, July 23, 2007

A week of piano interviews at TNYDP, and we must post one with the legendary Dave Brubeck who passed away late last week. This 2007 interview with Ted Panken that Ethan Iverson tweeted out the day Brubeck died is as good a tribute as any. A bit from the interview:

You started to play for money when you were in your early teens, and I’d imagine then you started learning about being a bandleader—which is also part of music. Bending people to your will, as it were.

You see, when we left Concord, California, I was well, and were moving to this huge cattle ranch, 45,000 acres, owned by H.C. Howard who owned Seabiscuit. Of course, he owned other ranches, and Seabiscuit wasn’t on this ranch. But when I moved there, I would still be improvising after school and playing the piano. The guy that came to pick up our laundry at the ranch and take it to Lodi, where Mondavi started, about 18 miles away… He’d take the laundry, and he heard me playing, and he said, “I could use you in my band.” I was 14 then, and he hired me, and we played on the Mokelumne River, outdoor dance floor that was all warped from the rain, and electric lightbulbs hanging from wires with the decorations. His name was John Ostabah. From Ostabah, I went to another band in Ione, California, that played all the foothill dances. Believe me, that was an experience. Very few people have had the experiences I had when I was very young. Because the towns of Jackson and Sutter Creek were wide-open. That means everything in California that was against the law, was not against the law in those mining towns.

Click here to read An Interview with Dave Brubeck, July 23, 2007

Like Sonny: The Story of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane

The last day of JazzVideoGuy week here at TNYDP; thanx Bret for all you do for Jazz. Check out his channel on YouTube, there’s just a ton to watch.

And what week of interviews from JazzVideoGuy would be complete without one from his favorite subject, the incomparable Sonny Rollins? In this piece, Bret explores the unique relationship between John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, two of the most important Jazz musicians in history.

— Peter Blasevick

Joe Lovano Discusses Hank Jones

This week I am posting video interviews from JazzVideoGuy himself, Bret Primack. Check out his channel on YouTube, there is so much to watch, you’ll look up and realize it’s two in the morning.

I’ve mentioned before I’m sure that I just love Hank Jones…any excuse to post about him is fine with me. Here is a nice long talk with tenor great Joe Lovano in which he discusses  working with the legendary pianist and goes into detail about their 2007 live duet album Kids.

— Peter Blasevick

The Nimble, Young Hank Jones

I admit I have a soft spot for Hank Jones. The whole thing: being part of an immortal family of musicians; his job for all those years as the CBS house piano player; playing piano on Marylin’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President”; the elder statesman thing later on in life…the whole story is great.

Here is a quote from this 2007 “All Things Considered” about his time at CBS:

“Sometimes you played accompaniment for singers. Sometimes you played for groups. Sometimes you played for operatic sequences that went down,” Jones explains. “Sometimes you played for elephant acts. Sometimes you played for dog acts. So you did a variety of things, all of which, when you added them up, it contributed to your repertoire.”

Click here to read and listen to The Nimble, Young Hank Jones

Four Orrin Keepnews Interviews

From YouTube’s JazzVideoGuy Bret Primack, here are four chapters from the Concord Music Group video podcast series “Orrin Keepnews, Producer”.

Chapter 1: “Saint Monk” Pianist and composer Thelonious Monk was the patron saint of Riverside Records, the influential Jazz record label Orrin Keepnews co-founded in the early 50s. In the first installment of a twenty chapter video podcast series, Keepnews talks about meeting Monk, signing him, and producing his Riverside debut, “Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington.”

“The Sound of Sonny” is featured in Episode 2 , where the great Jazz producer talks about meeting Sonny Rollins and producing his first Riverside recording, part of the Concord Music Group’s “Keepnews Collection,” which featured Roy Haynes, Sonny Clark and two bassists, Percy Heath and Paul Chambers.

The third chapter of the podcast series is “Mr. Pulled Together – Clark Terry,” the story of the great trumpeter’s Riverside session, “Serenade to a Bus Seat.”

Finally, Chapter 14 features the 1960 Riverside recording by Wes Montgomery, “The Incredible Jazz Guitar,” with Montgomery, Tommy Flanagan, Percy and Tootie Heath.

Check out these great videos!